Science Education Partnership
Thank you for your interest in mentoring a Science Education Partnership Teacher. Science teachers impact hundreds of students every year and your support can make a real difference.
Together with the teacher, decide on a brief hands-on lab research activity for them to conduct (see below for ideas).
Teachers will learn the basics of working with DNA in a 5-day session prior to joining you in the lab. They will have practiced pipetting and gained familiarity with bacterial transformation, restriction enzyme digests, and gel electrophoresis. SEP emphasizes hands-on learning so please give your teacher the opportunity to participate actively in experiments.
For example, they could do molecular biology procedures such as plasmid mini-preps, ELISAs, or PCR. It is important that they understand why they are doing the procedures and how those procedures relate to the big picture for your lab or the questions you are exploring.
Many of the past SEP teachers have really enjoyed their immersion in a research lab—participating in the bench science, interacting with the group members, and attending lab meetings to learn how scientists interact, discuss different experimental approaches, and make sense of their findings.
SEP is committed to the idea that both scientists and science educators are professionals with much to learn from one another. We hope that you will use this opportunity to learn about strategies for teaching scientific ideas as well as learning more about education in general.
The new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are based on a three-part framework that interweaves big themes (“cross cutting concepts”), specific core content or discipline-specific knowledge [“disciplinary core ideas”], and common inquiry-related practices used in science and engineering [“science and engineering practices”]. Washington is one of many collaborating states adopting NGSS in setting learning performance standards and expectations for each grade level. You may wish to familiarize yourself with these standards by visiting http://www.nextgenscience.org. SEP provides a unique opportunity for teachers to learn about how science practices are enacted in authentic lab research settings, and to reflect on the implications for their own classrooms.